COVID-19 and cemeteries

Find information out about Wellington cemeteries and funeral services during Alert Levels 1-4.

Covid-19 Alert Level restrictions for funerals and tangi mean that we may have limited cemetery and burial services at our cemeteries.

Alert Level 1

Status: Open for all cremation and funeral services.
Details: There is no limit on the number of people who can attend a gathering.

Alert Level 2

Status: Open for all services.
Details

  • Up to 100 people can attend chapel services (indoor services) from Wednesday 22 September
  • Up to 100 people can attend burial services (outdoor services).

Gathering guidelines must be followed, including scanning in to all facilities: COVID-19 - Funerals and tangihanga at Alert Level 2

The cemetery gates are open at Level 2.

The Karori Cemetery office remains closed to the public. Plot enquiries can be made by calling 04 4766 109, or by emailing cemeteries@wcc.govt.nz

Alert Level 3

Burials and cremations

Status: Open for all services
Details: COVID-19 Alert Level 3 restrictions for funerals and tangi means only small gatherings of up to 10 people for public funerals and tangihanga is permitted.

This applies to all deceased persons, regardless of when and where they died, or the cause of death.

It includes public gatherings at burials, cremations, memorial services, funeral wakes, processions or receptions and social gatherings, both indoors and outdoors.

What our cemeteries will offer during Alert Level 3:

  • Burial and crematorium services – Open for all services with some restrictions.
  • Chapels are open for up to 10 people with appropriate distancing and cleaning measures in place. Funerals and tangihanga – Covid19.govt.nz.
  • Burial plot purchases – burial plot purchases will be prioritised and will only be available to families who have lost a loved one.
  • Genealogy research – examination of physical records held at cemetery offices is not available until further notice. Searches can still be completed online.

Karori Cemetery and Makara Cemetery

The gates will remain closed at Makara and Karori Cemeteries, with pedestrian-only access at entrances. The Karori Cemetery office is closed to the public. Chapels are open for up to 10 people with appropriate distancing and cleaning measures in place.

Alert Level 4

Burials and cremations

Status: Limited
Details:

Covid-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions for funerals and tangi mean that we have to limit cemetery and burial services at our cemeteries. More information can be found here.

Gatherings are not permitted at burials, cremations, memorial services, open or closed caskets or viewings, funeral wakes, processions or receptions and social gatherings, both indoors and outdoors.

However Ministry of Health guidelines do allow family or whanau, who have been in the same isolation bubble as the deceased, to attend the burial.

Viewing of the deceased at a funeral home is also allowed by members who have been in the same isolation bubble.

What our cemeteries will offer during Alert Level 4:

  • Burial and crematorium services – there will be no chapel or graveside services, but family or whanau in the same isolation bubble as the deceased can attend the burial or come to the crematorium, but they can’t go into the crematorium or attend the cremation. A booking for a cremation must be made prior to the service.
  • Burial plot purchases – burial plot purchases  will be prioritised and will only be available to families who have lost a loved one.
  • Genealogy research – examination of physical records held at cemetery offices is not available until further notice. Searches can still be completed online.

Karori Cemetery and Makara Cemetery

The Karori Cemetery chapels are closed and no graveside services will be available until the ‘no mass gathering’ instruction is lifted. 

We close the gates to Karori and Makara Cemetery, so there will only be pedestrian access. We allow people in for cremations and burials, but visiting the cemetery is not an essential service and people should not be driving there. We understand this may be upsetting for some, but this is in response to large numbers driving to and gathering at the cemeteries, breaching Covid-19 Alert Level 4 guidelines.

Contact

For all cemetery related questions, please email cemeteries@wcc.govt.nz or phone the Karori Cemetery office on 04 4766109.

Funerals and tangihanga – Covid19.govt.nz